Friday, April 27, 2012

Vitale lauds McLemore, Jayhawks in early ranks


ESPN’s Dick Vitale has ranked Kansas University’s basketball team No. 4 in the country in his first preseason poll for the 2012-13 season. His final preseason rankings will be released in October.

“Keep an eye on Ben McLemore, who sat out last season. He has pro potential. Bill Self has another Big 12 front-runner,” Vitale said.

He has Louisville No. 1, followed by Kentucky, Indiana, KU, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Baylor, Syracuse and Ohio State. Other Big 12 teams: Texas, 20; Kansas State, 31; Iowa State 34; Oklahoma State 40.

Young lists KU: James Young, a 6-7, 200-pound senior-to-be from Troy (Mich.) High School, has a top three of Kentucky, KU and Michigan State (in that order), according to Young averaged 26.8 points and 8.0 rebounds a game in four games at an AAU Tournament last weekend in Minnesota. He plays for The Family out of Detroit. Young, who is ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2013 by, hopes to pick a school this summer.

Twins list KU: The Harrison twins of Texas list KU, Maryland, Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona and Villanova. Andrew Harrison, who is ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2013, and Aaron Harrison, who is ranked No. 5, are 6-foot-5 combo guards out of Travis High School in Fort Bend, Texas.

Off to Topeka: KU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will be recognized today at the Capitol in Topeka. Women’s players Tania Jackson, CeCe Harper, Angel Goodrich and Carolyn Davis and men’s players Conner Teahan, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Jordan Juenemann — as well as AD Sheahon Zenger — will visit the Senate and House and make an appearance with Gov. Sam Brownback.


dustfan 7 years, 10 months ago

Nice. Sounds like the kid has a good head on his shoulders.

7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the link, jsatt3. This kid has a good head on his shoulders. A couple of takes from the article I liked:

"My favorite part of the recruiting process is being able to go to college and get your education for free by playing basketball."

"...I went to a communication’s class on my visit so that’s a degree that I think will go well at Kansas...I just think if an athlete can talk and interview, that’s very valuable when you’re trying to get a job and in everyday life."

Mick Allen 7 years, 10 months ago

I concur. The kid sounds very articulate and mature. I believe he will accept the Self way and become an even better player because of it.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

A very well spoken introspective recruit who pitches to his interviewer the word humble. Bill Self can't go wrong with talented recruits like Andrew White and Perry Ellis. I hope the two of them are working on defense this month. The only thing which can impede their early contribution is weak defense. Their maturity, good judgment and whoppingly noteworthy high school offense is a matter of record. Now they must focus on team defense in order for growth into trusted freshman players who should be all set to help guide the Jayhawks to a 9th consecutive league title. Mr. Vitale has chosen not to disregard the work of Bill Self and staff again. His 2010-11 Kansas predictions precipitated such a stomping that he probably never again will shortchange Bill Self's Kansas program.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree. It seems as though Self has earned more respect this year than in '08, which I guess makes sense. Anyway, if Vitale is only now getting on board, he's in the back of a long line.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 10 months ago

Some sites, like this think that Andrew will start.;_ylt=An.M99LddwnUfyAcLm.tdarevbYF

After re-watching the last MU/KU game, and all of the tournament games again, anyone who steps up to take minutes away from Young will have to be pretty good. If he can do what Brady did to improve his defense then our only weakness will be in backing up EJ who I feel is the leader of next years team.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 10 months ago

Getting those 6ft5 combo guard twins sounds appealing.

Can't wait til Conner Frankamp puts on that Jayhawk unie.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Looking forward to Conner and Brannon Greene. Greene is going to be a monster. This kid has major skills,.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Landing the twins would be a monster, 485-footer, across-Waveland-and-through-an-apartment-window kind of dinger.

With what Self already has in the bag, I have a feeling the 2013 class is gonna be legen--

Wait for it.....

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

I noticed Conner has made a nice move up in the '13 rankings, now at #42. ..

Kyle Sybesma 7 years, 10 months ago

With the news of a BCS playoff we should start hearing more conference reallignment chatter. Talk is of a four team playoff. That means four 16 team power conferences with two divisions of 8 and a conference championship game to qualify for the four team playoff. This may take years to achieve but it will happen. The Big East and Big 12 will be swallowed by the PAC 12, B1G, SEC and ACC. Let's hope HCCW can build this program to be appealing to those conferences.

142466 7 years, 10 months ago

Your specific realignment forecast seems likely. I've thought so for a while now. IMO we'll see it within 5 years. I prefer the PAC for KU because of where I live, but the B1g is in the best interest of KU, with the PAC being the 2d choice.

Postseason FB, in substance, i will really consist of a three round 8 team playoff among the 8 divisional winners, with opening round games consisting of four league championship games. Under this format, I'd like to see each BCS school's regular season 11 game FB schedule consist of: all 5 schools in your division, + 2 opponents from the other division in your league (three year cycle) + 2 games against BCS schools from the other 3 BCS leagues. Under this format, the crowned NCAA champion will truly deserve its seat on the throne.

BB regular season season schedules in the four 16 team (2 division) super conferences should consist of 22 games: 14 (complete home-away round robin within your own division) + 8 ( all 8 teams from the other division in your league). Just like BCS FB, there should then be 4 post-season BB championship games, one in each of the 4 BCS leagues. The top 4 seeds in the NCAA 64 team tourney should then be automatically awarded to the 4 BCS league champions. This will help restore the importance of NCAA BB league play. The current post-season league tournaments are an abomination unto all serious, long-time NCAA BB fans.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

I hate the fact that you might be right. Kansas is not a Pac-12 school, nor does it belong in any of the East Coast conferences.

The Big 12 needs to make itself strong enough to stand on its own. If we could draw in Louisville and maybe a Memphis, I believe there are enough quality teams in both football and basketball to remain viable. Historically, there has always been a strong conference representing the Midwest and I think most people would like to see that continue, including the BCS.

Worst-case scenario, I would hope for the Big Ten. Geographically, it makes sense but it's not something I would like to see. Actually, the worst-case scenario would be going to a mid-major.

The Big East clearly sees the writing on the wall. With West Virginia coming, I can easily see Louisville making the same move.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

The best move is certainly a stronger, bigger Big 12. I still like a BYU invite along with Louisville. If Boise weren't so far NW. . .

But the B12 MUST get going. Houston, Memphis, Colorado State, at least to 14 teams. I don't think WV is a long-term solution for either the league or for them. Do you?

If that falls through, the Big Ten would be ideal, really. As a fellow AU school, even though smaller, we would be a good fit for them that way, I think.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Only if WVU brings i other Big East schools. WVU has a solid overall athletic Dept and is a strong school for any conference.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

It just seems weird and short term. Why wouldn't WV try to join the ACC? I guess they're just not wanted.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

West Virginia had several options. I think this was a big get for the Big 12. It might look a little odd geographically but I really think getting them will help us get at least one other Big East school.

Alohahawk 7 years, 10 months ago

The Harrison twins, if I remember correctly, visited AFH something like two seasons ago for Late Night. Recently, however, KU hasn't been listed by them on the recruiting boards, so that is a surprise.

Another award to Coach Self. On Sports Illustrated's website - their College BB page, Luke Winn announced that Self received an award for best NCAA Tournament Defensive Team. Withey is sited as a major factor in achieving the award. There are also a number of other awards listed, none won by KU.

RJ King 7 years, 10 months ago

Below from an article posted yesterday:

Get used to trying to tell the two apart: they're going to be heading to the same college, too.

"That's the one thing that's definite," Aaron Harrison Sr., their father said. "But they're not going to drag it out like people did this year."

There are four schools pursuing both players: Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova and Baylor. Other schools have popped in and out of the Harrisons' recruitment, but the aforementioned quartet is still keeping in strong contact with the family. Andrew and Aaron are on the same page when it comes to a future destination.

"We're both looking for a family atmosphere," Andrew said. "And somewhere we can play but still have to work hard."

Family atmosphere? Work hard? Ring a bell?

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

DVi backhanding comps again.

Only BenMac pro?

Jeff pro. EJ pro. Travis pro. Perry pro. Zack pro.

And as per usual...

DVi picks us beneath the major teams we tend to beat.

DVi calls KU a frontrunner in B12 instead of the favorite?

Yes, DVi, and Man of War was a front runner.

DVi, tell the media-gaming complex to let go of the game.

DVi, come out and demand an end to checkbook recruiting.

Come out and demand an end to the whistle swallowing and butcher ball.

Quit being a poster child for hype asymmetry.

Its the people's game.

Restore it to them.

overseashawk 7 years, 10 months ago


I think you're technically right in terms of PRO but I also think your list needs clarification:

Jeff - NBA EJ - Overseas Travis - Overseas Perry - Who knows - probable NBA Zack - Who knows - probable Overseas

Danny Hernandez 7 years, 10 months ago

EJ, first round NBA......remember you heard it here no johnny come latelys

Sam Brockert 7 years, 10 months ago

Ok, i have taken a screenshot, so if it WILL get credit.

Joe Baker 7 years, 10 months ago

good gawd- who pissed in your wheaties? You definitelyt have a strong opinion. Best thing in your post is, "Who knows?"

SaltLakeHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

EJ has no shot at the NBA. Just examine the facts:

-No speed / athleticism (can barely dunk) -Poor leadership / communication skills -Extremely selfish attitude; team cancer -Never hits big shots in big games -Has an ugly, unwatchable shot

It's painful to admit, but it's true: he won't sniff the NBA.

Peace, The World's Dumbest Sports Fan

rob4lb 7 years, 10 months ago

Do you really feel compelled to dissect every word someone writes? Vitale's picks came out several days ago and he wrote a one or two sentence summary for each team. It was not meant to be an in depth analysis of the team. I think he mentioned McLemore because he has not been in the conversation on a national level.

ironhead80 7 years, 10 months ago

That is dicks indepth analysis of KU! He is so far up the you know what of UK, UNC, Duke and the other eastern teams ESPN reports on all the time, it's plain petiful!

Steve Corder 7 years, 10 months ago

You are down right spot-on about ending "butcher ball"!

jhwker3031 7 years, 10 months ago

Sorry Jaybate.

Travis not an NBA pro Zack not an NBA pro Elijah is too passive, IMHO, but this coming NBA draft is so weak, he actually has a shot to go first round. If he can miraculously become assertive and aggressive, he MIGHT have a chance to even play in the NBA. I doubt it though.

But, to your point,

Withey should get a shot in the NBA if he improves over last year, but he'll be a bench warmer...worse than Cole Aldrich.

Ellis has lottery potential along with BMac and appear to have the ability to actually get meaningful PT in The League.

Joe Baker 7 years, 10 months ago

Whoa, you had a litle extra piss in your wheaties. You do have an opinion and I applaud you for it.

"...worse than Aldrich" ? Really? Pretty strong opinion. Withey just needs some weight gain and he'll be NBA ready. You don't want him so heavy he can't move or jump. Let's see what Hudy does with him in the off season and the season. He'll be ready.

My opinon is that Withey is better than Aldrich at this point and his NBA upside is higher than Aldrich.

kufaninmo 7 years, 10 months ago

dang why you keep talking about pissin in wheaties bro??

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

You're catching a lot of flack here, but if you watch the NBA, the next level is an insane jump. Most posters here are lovable homers, so you can't fault them for seeing our favorites in the league. I disagree with your assessment on Withey. EJ does have a chance.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 9 months ago

Considering Cole is playing D League and Cole is better than least in my opinion, I have to agree with you on that call.

itdontmtrtome 7 years, 10 months ago

When you mention Travis as pro i'm assuming you mean overseas as he'll never be drafted by the NBA.

Matt Kenton 7 years, 10 months ago

Saw the title of the article and almost didn't read it. Ol' Dickie V's relevence in college basketball today is hanging by a thread.

Anyone can comb through next year's roster, see a 4 star prospect with Pro potential who practiced with the team last season, but no one has seen play yet, and say 'look out for McLemore.' But kudos to him for looking past the surface layer of team info, trying to come up with a unique take, which is more than he or most national guys usually do.

dtdjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Let's save the who is a pro who isn't a pro speculation until after next season, I have a feeling our returning starters will be greatly improved.

And EJ will play in the NBA

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

I noticed Vitale has Kentucky near the top but not UCLA despite all the incoming talent. Both programs seem to go with one and dones. I think that has more to do about coaching than about personnel.

As for going to the NBA, it will take strong senior years for anyone to be a shoe in but I would give EJ the best chance. Not going to comment on the incoming players which includes Ben until I see them perform. If the incoming class lives up to expectations, we are definitely in contention for nine straight and another run in the NCAA.

fansincewilt 7 years, 10 months ago

The Self staff will probably turn Perry into a lottery pick.

Joe Baker 7 years, 10 months ago

+1 - Let's develop him for 4 yrs and get him a degree. But, you know how that works. My guess is Ellis may go his Soph or Jr year. I think his parents may encourage him to stay 4 yrs.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

I think Perry will stay a minimum of two years and most likely three years. This will give him time to build up his body and hone his skills but this kid will most likely be a NBA first rounder.

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 10 months ago

Can't a senior-to-be just be referred to as a junior?

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

should we refer to OAD's as Seniors ?

or Freshman/Senior

or Frenior?

and if they're Hispanic (NOT a racist remark) - they could be Senor Frenior

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

Frenior, that's excellent. I'm using it. Thanks.

Robert Brock 7 years, 10 months ago

They don't like us. Not the Harrison twins, anyway. They haven't listed KU in the past year. It is down to Maryland, Kentucky, Baylor, and Nova. I am predicting that they choose Turgeon and Maryland.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 10 months ago

Brock-I enjoy your posts...short, succinct, and with good info. I'm curious to know why you don't think the twins are interestested--even more curious what your opinion would be on why they list KU even with no real interest?

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Of those three...I hope they go to Maryland.

NH_JHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm a bit surprised that UCLA isn't up there. Not a fan of Howland or UCLA, but I figured they'd get some attention after getting Shabazz, Kyle Anderson, Parker, etc. Maybe Larry Drew 2 and the Wear twins have already ruined their chances?

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

I posted on this subject earlier. I think the reason is UCLA is coached by Ben Howland. Both Kentucky and UCLA have committed themselves to the one and done but Calipari is by far a better coach... as much as it pains me to say so

JakeBarnes 7 years, 10 months ago

I live in the Houston area and the Harrison twins, if they were to attend KU, would be an excellent guard or guard and small forward pair to have on any team. A year under Bill Self and they both have the talent to be ranked among the nation's best. Against high school competition, which isn't shabby, they play taller than they are. I hope they opt for KU.

Jim Jackson 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm hearing a lot of good things about Zach Peters; kid is raw, but with football toughness, agility a big frame he will be a BEAST. Did not play AAU so his ranking dipped, if Bill offered him as a Sophomore, he will be nasty.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

The ultimate speculative post.

  1. Kid is "raw" -- code word for unskilled. Though I haven't heard others call him raw, like Self called Traylor "raw."
  2. Football toughness -- he played tight end. Just because you play football doesn't mean you're tough, and doesn't mean that it translates to anything on the court.
  3. "Agility a big frame" -- exactly how agile is Peters? I watched him play twice and saw a pretty slow guy.
  4. "Didn't play AAU so his ranking dipped" -- Missed opportunity for skill development, and he wasn't ranked high anyway. He's now a stellar 137.
  5. "If Bill offered him as a sophomore, he will be nasty" -- Really? See Royce Woolridge.

Of course, that's not to say he won't turn into a fine player.

Temper your enthusiasm. Everyone that's coming in isn't going to be a beast (in all caps).

John Boyle 7 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for the clarification on jayhawker28's analysis. I am sure you are way more informed and intelligent than he is and wiser than every other poster on this site.

By the way that was sarcasm in case you didn't get it.

bradynsdad 7 years, 10 months ago

HEM raw talent usually doesn't mean "unskilled". If theyre unskilled why even recruit them. Raw usually means they have the skills but haven't been taught how to use them yet.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 10 months ago

I've never thought "raw" meant unskilled, I take it to mean that the talent is there but has never been developed.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Classic double need to develop that raw posting talent...

Jim Jackson 7 years, 10 months ago

Tight Ends who get serious looks by D1 schools are tough. I don't know how you could argue that, genius. Tight Ends in general are pretty tough.

Great, Royce Woolridge one player in 8 years that Bill offered as a soph who didn't pan out.

Peters also had offers from Baylor and Texas, they have a pretty good track record with Big Men ( Udoh, Jones, Pittman , Thompson)

So, I will temper it, but temper your pessimism (in lower case).

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Your post is a classic case of talking out of your a .. you don't know if Peters is tough, you're just generalizing because he played football. I don't know either, but I refrain from talking out of my a. I watched Peters play two games this season on TV and he didn't look like a tough, or gritty player to me. I have seen him described as a physical player, but that remains to be seen.

Name me another time we got a commit as a sophomore, other than Woolridge and Peters?

I'm not pessimistic .. I would like to think I'm realistic and that I don't get all hot and bothered about a player barely in the top 150.

Last one we had like that (Quintrell Thomas -- Rivals #149) transferred as more talent rolled in.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

oldalum: Exactly .. talent that is there, but not developed. When talent is developed, what is it ... skill. In it's basic form, a kid that has "raw" talent may not be able to dribble, but once taught, that's a skill. I may be able to dribble better than some "raw" 13 year old, but once that is developed, he is much more skilled than I am.

bradynsdad: See above. Also, you recruit kids that are raw .. undeveloped skills .. so you can develop them. Just as you said. But they are unskilled, relatively speaking. You might thus recruit a kid with more "upside" because you can work to develop it. We may be saying the same thing, but you are confusing "skilled" with someone has has the potential skills waiting to be developed. Example: Anthony Davis as a freshman vs. TRob as a freshman. Davis, uh, not raw. TRob raw. Davis, though, still has much development in front of him, just started on a much higher level

JayhawkJohn: Perhaps instead of wasting your time with your post, explain to me why I'm wrong. I am always willing to be educated.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Actually, HEM is right on with his analysis and has a pretty good track record to back it up.

Nothing against Jayhawker28..I hope Peters does become a beast and I think enthusiasm is good but the truth is, Peters probably will see more time on the bench his freshman year then on the court.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 10 months ago


Your posts make me smile,

Logic and critical thinking is so hard to find on these boards

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

HEM...ease up a little, buddy. No reason to dis optimism and enthusiasm. Regarding point 2, I assume you didn't play football, because if you did, you would know it's tough. I did and the tough part was the practice, not the games...and everybody practices.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

I did. I have coached it. Just because you play, doesn't make you tough. And it doesn't mean it translates to the court.

I tire of the blind, illogical enthusiasm on guys that haven't even stepped on the court and proven anything.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

HEM, I think that this hope is justified in the kind of kid Self recruits, more than anything. No one knows what he'll be like, but the size is right, and he will work with our fantastic weight guru, and if this kid develops and plays for years, he's a body you won't mind on the floor. I think that's the enthusiasm here. At least it is for me.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Right .. Unskilled does not equal untalented; and unskilled does not equal unworthy.

I have pointed out TRob as raw. But he was a top 30 or so player to begin with.

My real point has been .. guys .. relax. We have three low rated, unproven bigs. If one makes a significant contribution this season, we are way ahead of the game. Don't expect these guys to be beasts (especially in all caps). Patience.

But as you point out, opportunity can speed up the process. I agree with most all that you have said. Good analysis on the bigs.

Jory Collins 7 years, 10 months ago

Peters is anything BUT raw. He's an extremely skilled big guy who can dribble, pass, shoot and finish. I'm as excited about him as I am Ellis. He could easily be in the same mold / style as Nick Collison.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

I know everyone likes to say that Peter's rankings dropped because he didn't play AAU ball but he only didn't play for his senior season. By the end of his junior year, he had already dropped out of the top 100.

As much as I would like to see him excel at KU, don't be surprised if it doesn't happen.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 10 months ago

Vitale doesn't think for himself anyway. Who cares what he says.

Weird how all of these recruits are listing KU. It seems to me that the list Kansas just to list Kansas.

Now that most of our 'stars' have cleared out everybody wants a little action.

jayhawkintexas 7 years, 10 months ago

And KU has Dick Vitale ranked as number 10 in our pre-season ranking of announcers. "Dickie V is a front runner in the Duke fan conference" said KU.

Martin Shupert 7 years, 10 months ago

When I read that Vitale thought highly of us, my first reaction was, "Uh oh, what's wrong with our team?" He's usually a perfect opposite compass. He's always wrong. I'm crossing my fingers that we will be okay in spite of his endorsement, but it makes me very uneasy.

KemDooKU 7 years, 10 months ago

We can't get them all or we would need a bigger bench - maybe one that goes three deep in the stands. After watching this years team I would not be surprised if Bill could take UMKC players to the finals.

Mick Allen 7 years, 10 months ago

Or even Misery? Of course those clowns had their chance and chose Queen Snyder.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

I guess this means Dicky V won't pick us 5th in the league this year. Of course it's back to the Big 8, so not nearly as much competition to win the title. I suppose we just get the trophy from now on.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

Last time I looked, there were still 10 teams in the Big Twelve?? Did you forget West Virginia and TCU?

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

The handwriting is on the wall with the BCS announcement.

The four team play-off will mean four 16 team superconferences, each divided into 4 four team divisions, with two semis and a final championship game in each league to determine the play off qualifier.

Then the four national qualifiers enter the national championship semi and finals.

That breaks down into 14 games, with four league championships and the semi & final national championship being enough to distribute to the major bowls.

What it means is Kansas better align itself with somebody ASAP!!

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

This is more important than the next 10 players KU signs, and I hope that we're working daily behind the scenes on the possible move out of the conference. The 16-team superconference is here, and the sooner we get aligned, the better. It will come with great political wrangling and behind the scenes bribing. We need to get it done. Everything hinges on it.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm surprised that there wasn't an article about the BCS announcement here, since of course it is big news and affects KU drastically.

However, one of the big historic problems with the conference re-alignment in the past is that the Big Ten never felt like it had to expand, it was happy at 12. That being said, if they basically force the hand of the power conferences to jump to 16, I like our chances. I actually like our chances to join the Big Ten.

However, when you count out the teams and markets and start listing them out, we fall in that 60-62 range and would be a target to pick-up.

Like I say if the power conferences all go to 16, that is good for KU, the worry has always been if they don't go to 16, they stop at 14.

I also think some of the power football teams will want a few teams that they can beat year in and year out, especially if the conference gets a guaranteed appearance into the BCS.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

To me, Houston>Memphis, at least potentially.

Danny Hernandez 7 years, 10 months ago

I hear rumblings about Notre Dame possibly joining the Big12 as it expands to 16 with the addition of Louisville and more......

The Big12 isn't going anywhere but up folks, read em and weep

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

Good talk by HEM and konkeyDong on the new big men.

Who will have biggest impact in their first year [not counting Perry]

Jamari Zach Landon

Please cast your vote including your thoughts behind your decision.

Joe Baker 7 years, 10 months ago

LOL- Learn to take contact? He did play football. He's pretty physical. If he's that big and has problems with creating or taking contact, we've got problems in Jayhawk Nation.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 10 months ago

My vote is really on the bet that we just need someone to step up down below. Jamari we really need to stand out.

I think he probably learned a lot and is ready to step in. I would imagine that banging against TRob last year probably helped him a lot as well.

I think the person that might actually get hurt the most is KYoung. Unless if he puts on about 75 pounds, I could see him playing only when we play against zone teams or people without a true center.

justanotherfan 7 years, 10 months ago

Why not count Perry?

In rebounding, I'd rank them

  1. Traylor
  2. Lucas
  3. Peters
  4. Ellis

Rebounding is the most consistent statistic from level to level. Rebounding is about positioning and pursuit. If you can do that at one level, you can do it at any level. So when I grade out guys that play inside, the first thing I want to know is "can this guy rebound."

Check out this short piece of a scouting report describing a player's rebounding ability - "has the take no prisoners attitude when it comes to hitting the boards. He relentlessly attacks the glass with incredible fervor and collects rebounds just as adeptly out of his area as he does in his area."

Now here's what they say about Traylor - "He rebounds at a high rate in and out of his area and is a tough match ups because of his strength and aggressiveness."

And Lucas - "Solid rebounder because of length and positioning" and "Outstanding rebounder"

Peters - "Peters is a strong and physical power forward that can score and rebound through contact."

Ellis - "Ellis is a very strong power forward. Ellis is a good area rebounder as well."

Given those descriptions, if you had to guess who the best rebounder was coming out of high school, you would have to say Traylor most similarly resembled the mystery high school forward in scouting reports. That player, by the way ended up being an outstanding college rebounder as well because, if you haven't guessed it yet, that player is Thomas Robinson.

Offensively I'd rank them:

  1. Ellis
  2. Lucas
  3. Peters
  4. Traylor

Ellis has the most polish offensively. Lucas will likely struggle to score over length due to his lack of athleticism and Peters doesn't have much refinement in his post game yet. Traylor finished high school as a high energy, garbage bucket athleticism machine, much like Thomas Robinson was when he arrived in Lawrence.

Defensively, I'd rank them as:

  1. Traylor
  2. Lucas
  3. Ellis
  4. Peters

because everyone notes that Traylor's strength makes him an excellent defender (and that was pre-Hudy) Lucas does an excellent job with positioning (notable because if they say that about you in high school it's because you really are doing a good job of that and it stands out), then Ellis and Peters because neither is noted for their defensive prowess, though Ellis is more polished as a basketball player than Peters because Peters hasn't played as much ball.

So if Traylor is the best defender, the best rebounder and has had the most time playing against ELITE competition, who is most likely to make a big impact? Oh, and he spent the last year working with a former lottery pick playing against a future lottery pick.

I'll take Traylor having the most immediate impact, with Ellis second because of his offensive skill, then Lucas because his game sounds like it is more polished than Peters is right now.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago


A long and brawny post for April. Yessssss!

Know your post was not about KY.

But Young gets 20mpg. Kid did it in the Madness against the best.

Kid will add 10 lbs.

Kid will be a force.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 10 months ago

Ditto - Not a starter but someones still has to be better to take away the minutes he was getting at the end of the season.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

You left out Andrew White..although a small forward, I think he cracks into your list.. He will get more playing time than Peters imho.

Brian Hosfelt 7 years, 10 months ago

I would say Jamari. He's been in Self's system for a year and that should help a ton.

AsadZ 7 years, 10 months ago

I vote for Jamari.

I have not watched his play and not familiar with Zach/Landon either.

I am simply voting on the fact that Jamari has been in the system for almost 1 year, and he has extremely valuable experience under his belt going against T-Rob & Withey and has been coached by Danny

Joe Baker 7 years, 10 months ago

Jamari played with the Unibrow too in the Mean Streets of Chicago. Look up his vids. He's a monster. He's got a lot to learn and should be in good shape.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm with jaybate regarding the minutes for Young. I'd say he will average at least 18. Big question mark is Wesley minutes. This will be his 3rd year in the system, and he will face much more competition from a deeper squad. Will he have finally learned to move his body in rocketlike anticipation, or will he retain his handgrabbing habit? He will be on a very very short leash; but has a tremendous upside, considering his leaping ability and general athleticism. I make no predictions, minute-wise, but view him as something of a sleeper because of his months in the system. Justin, more than perhaps any Jayhawk, faces a do or die season.

Kye Clark 7 years, 10 months ago

Went to the Wichita Barnstormers event last night at East High School, where every year the KU seniors show up, sign autographs, and play in an exhibition game, usually with some Wichita State players, former players, local small college talent, and some high school kids. The also have raffles and auctions for various things - sports memorabilia (KU team signed basketball, signed TRob jersey, a team signed Maui Invitational shirt/jersey, etc), some local gift certificate type stuff, etc. Tyshawn stood everyone up and pulled a no-show, after the event had rescheduled it's original date to accommodate his schedule. Very disappointing. The worst part, they were actually trying to auction off two tickets to an event in Wichita today in which Tyshawn was set to appear and sign autographs. What a joke, after everyone had bought tickets once to get his autograph and watch him play. I've been going to the event for several years, and this is the first time a senior has failed to show up. Kudos to Connor & Jordan for showing up, but it felt incomplete.

The event had more of a Shockers Barnstorming feel, as Wichita State seniors Joe Ragland, Toure' Murry, & David Kyles put on a show, including some incredible dunks by Kyles (which was the most impressive display I've ever seen put on in an exhibition game).

Next year's event has the possibility to feature EJ, Releford, Withey, & KY, so even if one or two pull no-shows there will still be some high-level talent on the court.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Ugh. Don't like that. I'm never surprised by it.

After 2008, took my daughter to an autograph deal w/ Brandon Rush. Lots of kids, etc. Rush was a complete punk. Just laid back in his chair. Wouldn't respond to anyone. Wore sunglasses and looked totally disinterested. We were a bit behind a kid that was trying to ask him a question about whether he had any confetti from after game. He looked at someone sitting with him, laughed, bobbed his head, wouldn't even acknowledge the kid. It was just what I expected though so it didn't effect my opinion at all.

I don't have any belief that these guys really give a rip about the fans, nor do I expect them to. I really don't care much.

Contrast .. I was in Detroit on business one of the last years of old Tiger stadium. Had planned it so I could take in a game there - Tigers/Orioles. But it was raining. I just kind of hung out in the ballpark .. watching Cal Ripken sign autographs and talk for over an hour, in the rain, with a huge group of kids that were apparently there on some school deal.

I get it that fans are an annoyance most of the times. Fans annoy me. And the nerdy autograph hounds have to be the worst. But I think it would be very easy to separate the 40 year old dough boy that collects comic books and lives with his mom vs. the 8 year old kid that just wants to ask a question. It's just common courtesy.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 10 months ago

Last year i thought the team was ranked to low. I pegged them at finishing in somewhere in the 7-9 range. Never thought they had a run to the title game in them, but i did think the low teens was disrespectful to the talent in the starting 5 alone.

I think most people recognize last years team overachieved. because of that however, the expectations for next year have been raised to crazy levels. Pre-Season #4 in almost every poll? really?

I'd put my money on next years squad finishing 9-12 in the polls. Solid 3 seed, sweet 16 expected, final four run would be a reach.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 10 months ago

I think you over estimate Eliis and Mclemore.

They are incredible athletes and are the future stars of the program but they will still be freshman.

Remember what you got from the Morrii as freshman? TT as a freshman?

These guys aren't nearly as highly regarded as Xavier Henry and we only got 13 ppg from him.

Two years from now out, those two are going to make for one hell of a back court

Ben Simonett 7 years, 10 months ago

As i i've thought more about it, i think your final point might actually be right.

even if Mclemore and Ellis only give us Morii-like performances during there freshman seasons. that production plus the expected performances from Withey, Releford, and Johnson would still makes us a dominant team in the big 12.

we wont lose alot of games next year, and that's going to give us a high ranking and seed in the tournament. but the reason we wont lose alot of games next years is going to be because we won't play alot of good teams in the conference next season. and that usually get exposed come tournament time.

I could see next year turning out to be another under achieving 2 seed, maybe even a low 1.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 9 months ago

Won't we be a better 3-shooting team too?

KULA 7 years, 10 months ago

We'll be starting 3 or 4 guys who will very likely be drafted into the NBA when they come out. How many other teams can claim that? The preseason polls are based on potential. I don't think #4 is too high.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Because of size difference, a bit like comparing/contrasting apples and oranges; but I predict that Ellis and McLemore will make more of a frosh impact than did the twins. They might not be counted upon for so many minutes, but each of them possesses terrific potential on offense. This past year of residence and work within the program should lend a huge edge to BenMac. He got his legal glitch out of the way prior to his first year of play, put in an energetic semester practicing with the #2 team in the country, and got exposed to Hudyization and very definite learning curve regarding Bill Self basketball. Ellis is a 4.0 scholar who has played an essential role in 4 consecutive Kansas high school state championships. These two recruits are poised to play as winners from the getgo. I see them plugging right into available slots; and I like what I have read about Andrew White. Barring injury to Withey or EJ, no reason to think this team won't cruise to some titles next season.

Alohahawk 7 years, 10 months ago

"Barring injury" are two key words for last year's Jayhawks. KU had the misfortune, up front, that it's recruits did not qualify. However, one might say it was a fair tradeoff against a season with no major injuries, while other top teams, such as N.Carolina and Michigan State, did lose major players. Maybe KU was lucky, or should Hudy be factored into that equation? At least this coming season Coach Self should have less worries along the injury lines.

Regarding recruits, has a story about 2013's Jermaine Lawrence - 6'10' forward - who is being actively recruited by Coach Self. Currently, Rivals ranks him at #64, but his coach says he has similar abilities as Kevin Durant. The writeup indicates he has good range from beyond the arc. However, KU may be a latecomer because Lawrence already has a long list of suitors.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Speaking of Durant, did posters see him hit that winning shot vs. Dallas in Game 1 of the playoffs last night? That guy is gold. Tho he didn't play at Kansas, his Big 12 college genesis and personal demeanor always draw my support and admiration. I rarely watch NBA games, and find much of the hoopla and presentation ugly and reprehensible. Durant is one of the few superstars who appears to rise above professional hoops ugliness. Is terrific that Collison and Aldrich are associated with him.

Alohahawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Missed the Durant shot. Like you, I rarely watch the NBA, except during the playoffs. Even then, it usually depends if there is a former Jayhawk on the roster. What with the abundance of player trades, it's not always easy to remember which teams have what Jayhawks playing for them. But I would like to see the Thunder win it all, and see two Jayhawks sporting champ's rings. And I'm hoping TRob gets drafted by a team where he'll get the chance to play large minutes to start his pro career.

As for Durant, I still pull out the DVD's of those two games he played against KU. The Jayhawks had to come back from way back in both, which still makes them entertaining to watch, even now.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 9 months ago

Several years ago, around the old prison school water cooler, all my buddies agreed that Oden was a better pick than Durant. I disagreed and caught lots of flack. I don't even teach there anymore to bring it up, but I would if I did!

And I saw the shot. Love KD and the Thunder.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 9 months ago

Andrew White may be that player who makes the most impact. he certainly has the skills.

Preston Dwiggins 7 years, 9 months ago

Too bad the NCAA decided he needed to sit this past season along with Traylor...What would the NCAA Championship have looked like with those two (McLemore & Traylor) getting playing time down in New Orleans...?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.